UAE: DIEDC to update Islamic Economy Strategy

By Georgina Enzer – CPI Financial

His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), chaired a meeting of the Centre’s board on December 21.

The participants discussed the outcomes of a workshop held on 8 December outlining the strategic goals and future objectives for Islamic economy and also examined steps forward for the Centre and its partners in developing initiatives and programme implementation mechanisms.

His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori emphasised that in order to realise the vision of His Highness Sheikh DIEDC logoMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as the capital of Islamic economy, DIEDC needs to continually adapt its Islamic economy strategy to reflect emerging trends across the sector’s dynamic pillars.

“With clearly defined objectives, our Islamic economy strategy must be flexible and inclusive in nature to accommodate necessary changes. It must strengthen the commitment of concerned authorities to ensure effective implementation and governance mechanisms. Through doing so the strategy can seamlessly achieve our goal of transforming Dubai – and the wider UAE – into a leading international hub for Islamic economy and a destination of choice for key industry players,” said Al Mansoori. “All sectors of the Islamic economy must make significant contributions to the national GDP. Such sectors can provide investment opportunities that attract local and international investors alike. Following the global financial crisis, the investment culture has changed dramatically. We should all do our best to foster the new culture that focuses on responsible, secure investments to contribute to social development.”

Furthermore, he stressed that developing an innovative knowledge and research ecosystem is key to stepping-up efforts to reinforce the position of the UAE as a global platform for innovation and a catalyst to spur entrepreneurship across all sectors of Islamic economy. He invited all concerned stakeholders to build on previous achievements and leverage lessons learned from earlier challenges to outline a clear roadmap for current and future initiatives, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure tangible economic impact.

He added: “Most of the initiatives of the past three years have yielded impressive results and underscored the huge potential of Islamic economy to help achieve the UAE Vision 2021 in time for the country’s golden jubilee.”

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIEDC, briefed the attending board members on the key milestones achieved since the launch of the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative. He provided an overview of the initiatives and programmes that the Centre introduced in collaboration with its strategic partners since 2013, and pointed out some of the issues encountered during their implementation along with methods used to address them. He also praised the strong sense of responsibility of all stakeholders tasked with promoting Dubai and the wider UAE as a global hub for Islamic economy activities.

The participants reviewed the outcomes of the first workshop that highlighted major success stories and defined new themes based on future challenges and opportunities. The board members also discussed ways of integrating the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative with the Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE Vision 2021, as the developmental goals of the UAE leadership are seamlessly aligned with the essence and objectives of Islamic economy. All these initiatives support the pillars of economic sustainability, stability and security, and promote the position of the UAE as a global role model for social and economic development.

The Centre will also collaborate with its strategic partners to finalise a list of high-impact initiatives that are to be prioritised in order to achieve the goals of the Islamic economy and address existing challenges, proposed during the first workshop on 8 December. His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori announced that a follow-up workshop will take place in January 2017 with the aim of approving the final version of the updated strategy and new initiatives.